Contact the ExpressVPN support team if you're stuck.
Need connection help?
Talk to a Human
Get connection help.
Need connection help?
Talk to a Human
Important: If you are located in a country with a high level of internet censorship, contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance. If you are using ExpressVPN manual configurations, try switching to use the ExpressVPN app for optimized performance.

This guide will show you how to resolve issues that cause the VPN to keep disconnecting. Examples of this issue include:

  • The app disconnects immediately or some time after being connected.
  • The app disconnects when your device is in sleep mode.
  • You see the error “The VPN connection has unexpectedly dropped.”

The likely causes for this include:

  • Interference by internet service providers
  • Poor connectivity at the chosen VPN server location
  • Outgoing packet transmission interference from your antivirus or online security application
  • Interference from your mobile device settings

Preliminary check

Before you proceed, check whether you have a stable internet connection by:

  1. Disconnecting from ExpressVPN.
  2. On your web browser, accessing a few websites of your choice.

If you are able to access the websites normally, the VPN disconnection issue is not caused by your internet connection. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to resolve the issue.

If you are unable to access the internet even when disconnected from ExpressVPN, there is likely an issue with your internet connection. Check whether your internet connection is stable or has underlying issues.

Jump to…

1. Download the latest version of ExpressVPN
2. Connect to another ExpressVPN server location
3. Change your VPN protocol
4. Disable your mobile’s battery-saving and Wi-Fi settings
5. Add ExpressVPN as an exception to your antivirus or online security application
6. Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team


1. Download the latest version of ExpressVPN

Check whether you are using the latest version of the ExpressVPN app. If not, download the latest app version.

Set up your ExpressVPN app:

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Back to top


2. Connect to another ExpressVPN server location

Connect to a different VPN server location on the Recommended server location list.

Connect to a different server location for the…

If you no longer experience dropped connections after connecting to a different VPN server location, there may be a temporary issue with the server location you were previously trying to connect to. Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team about the issue and use other VPN server locations in the meantime.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Back to top


3. Change your VPN protocol

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server.

For the best experience, ExpressVPN recommends using the Automatic protocol option, which is selected by default.

If you are unable to connect to ExpressVPN with the Automatic protocol, try the other protocols in the following order (if available):

  1. Lightway – TCP
  2. Lightway – UDP
  3. OpenVPN – TCP
  4. OpenVPN – UDP
  5. IKEv2
  6. L2TP/IPsec
Important: L2TP/IPSec provides weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations. ExpressVPN does not recommend using L2TP/IPSec unless absolutely necessary.

How to change the protocol for the…

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Back to top


4. Disable your mobile device’s battery-saving mode and Wi-Fi settings

Your mobile device’s battery-saving mode and Wi-Fi settings may interfere with your VPN connection.

Disable battery-saving (Android only)

Some Android mobile devices made by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have aggressive battery-saving modes that may interfere with your VPN connection. Try disabling power-saving mode.

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > ExpressVPN > Battery > Optimize battery usage.
  2. Toggle power saving for ExpressVPN off.

  1. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Special App Access > Battery Optimization.
  2. Disable power saving for ExpressVPN.

Alternatively:

  1. Go to Phone Settings > Battery > Battery optimization.
  2. Switch to the All apps list. From the dropdown at the top, tap ExpressVPN > Don’t optimize.

  1. Go to Settings > App & notifications > Special access > Ignore battery optimization. (You can also use your device’s built-in search function to find this menu.)
  2. Select ExpressVPN. If you don’t see ExpressVPN, make sure you are using the All apps view instead of the Not optimized view.
  3. Select Allow (or the option that ensures ExpressVPN is not optimized). ExpressVPN will now be excluded from battery-saving rules on your device.

Disable network switching settings

Some mobile devices automatically switch to use data when an unstable Wi-Fi network is detected. The constant switching between connection methods may lead your VPN connection to drop. Try disabling such network-switching settings.

Disable Wi-Fi Assist:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular or Mobile Data.
  2. Toggle Wi-Fi Assist off.

Samsung devices

Disable Smart Network Switch.

Google Pixel devices

Disable Switch to mobile data automatically (only available if you use Google Fi):

  1. Go to Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi preferences > Advanced.
  3. Toggle Switch to mobile data automatically off.

For other Android devices, consult your Android device provider.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Back to top


5. Add ExpressVPN as an exception to your antivirus or online security application

If you use the ExpressVPN app while an antivirus or online security application is running, your antivirus or online security application may block the VPN connection.

To test whether your antivirus or online security application is blocking your VPN connection:

  1. Disable the antivirus or online security application on your device. (For specific instructions, contact your antivirus or online security application provider.)
  2. On your ExpressVPN app, connect to a VPN server location.

If you are able to connect to the VPN while your antivirus or online security application is disabled, your antivirus or online security application is blocking your VPN connection.

To resolve this, add ExpressVPN as an exception to your application. For other applications, you may need to:

  • Change the security level from High to Medium
  • Grant an exception to UDP ports 1194 to 1204
  • Set it to Trust ExpressVPN

Different antivirus or online security products have different steps for adding applications as exceptions. For specific instructions, contact your antivirus or online security application provider.

After adding ExpressVPN as an exception to your antivirus or online security application,

  1. Restart the ExpressVPN app.
  2. Connect to a server location…

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Back to top


6. Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team

If you have tried all the steps above but are still unable to connect to the VPN, contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Alternatively, you can send in your diagnostic information to the ExpressVPN Support Team. The diagnostic information may reveal the cause of your connection issues. The ExpressVPN Support Team will contact you after receiving your information.

  1. Click the hamburger menu (≡) > Help & Support > Diagnostic Information.
  2. Click Contact Support.
  3. In the text box, provide information on the issue you are having.
  4. Tick the check box that reads “Include details about recent connection errors or Include diagnostic information”.
  5. Wait for a response from the ExpressVPN Support Team via email.

  1. Tap the Options or hamburger menu (≡) > Help & Support.
  2. Tap Email us or Contact Support.
  3. In the text box, provide information on the issue you are having.
  4. Tap Send or Submit. Wait for a response from the ExpressVPN Support Team via email.

  1. In Terminal, run the following command: expressvpn diagnostic
  2. Copy the diagnostic information.
  3. Paste the information in the ExpressVPN Support Chat.

  1. Go to the ExpressVPN router dashboard.
  2. Sign in with your router admin password.
  3. Click Help & Support > Diagnostic Information.
  4. Click Download All Logs.
  5. Send the logs in the ExpressVPN Support Chat.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

Back to top

Was this article helpful?

We're sorry to hear that. Let us know how we can improve.

What device do you need help with?

Examples: Android, Windows, Linksys router

A member of our Support Team will follow up on your issue.